Omar Bradley

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No action will be considered blameless, unless the will was so, for by the will the act was dictated.
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Omar Bradley (February 12, 1893April 8, 1981) was one of the main U.S. Army field commanders in North Africa and Europe during the World War II and a General of the United States Army. He was the last surviving five-star officer of the United States.


  • The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.
    • Speech given on November 11, 1948
    • Quoted in Omar Bradley's Collected Writings, Volume 1 (1967)
  • I am under no illusion that our present strategy of using means short of total war to achieve our ends and oppose communism is a guarantee that a world war will not be thrust upon us. But a policy of patience and determination without provoking a world war, while we improve our military power, is one which we believe we must continue to follow….
    Under present circumstances, we have recommended against enlarging the war from Korea to also include Red China. The course of action often described as a limited war with Red China would increase the risk we are taking by engaging too much of our power in an area that is not the critical strategic prize.
    Red China is not the powerful nation seeking to dominate the world. Frankly, in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, this strategy would involve us in the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy.
    • Testimony before the Senate Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations, May 15, 1951
    • Military Situation in the Far East, hearings, 82d Congress, 1st session, part 2, p. 732 (1951)
    • Variation: "… a wrong war at the wrong place and against a wrong enemy."
      • Military Situation, p. 753
  • Dependability, integrity, the characteristic of never knowingly doing anything wrong, that you would never cheat anyone, that you would give everybody a fair deal. Character is a sort of an all-inclusive thing. If a man has character, everyone has confidence in him. Soldiers must have confidence in their leader.
    • On military character
    • 19 Stars by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.


  • Life is a war, and in war, there is no second place.
    • Unidentified speech
  • It is time that we steered by the stars, not by the lights of each passing ship.
  • Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked […] and we who fail to prevent them must share the guilt for the dead.
  • The second best decision in time is infinitely better than the perfect decision too late.
  • We are dealing with veterans, not procedures -- with their problems, not ours. -- 1947, as Administrator of the U.S. Veterans Administration

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